French actress and director Julie Delpy may be best known in the U.S. for her roles opposite Ethan Hawke "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset," but she teams up with an unlikely co-star, Chris Rock, in her new film "2 Days in New York."
In the romantic dramedy, she and Rock play lovers whose relationship is put to the test when her character's family visits from France. It's the fifth film Delpy has directed, a career turn she hopes will allow her to steer clear of auditions.
Unlikely or not, Rock was actually Delpy's first choice for the male lead in the film, which is a sequel to 2007's "2 Days in Paris."
"When I first started thinking about a sequel, the first person who came to mind was Chris, so I called his agent and he called me back an hour later and said Chris would do it as long as the script wasn't really, really bad," Delpy said at a press conference at Sundance. "So I said, 'Okay, I will try to make something that isn't really, really bad.'"
Delpy succeeded, according to Rock, who said he loved the script from the start and read it in an hour. It's a departure for the veteran stand-up, and while he still gets to flex his comedic muscles in the film, it's definitely new territory for the actor.
Many of Rock's funnier bits come when he is confounded by the language barriers between him and the French-speaking cast.
"It worked because my character didn't speak French in the movie, so I didn't have to act confused -- I was really confused," Rock said. "I think at one point it looked like I was looking down at the subtitles."
He also found it easy to portray a character who was in a dysfunctional relationship.
"I've had dysfunctional relationships with all sorts of women, French, black, Puerto Rican. No one is different. Everyone is kind of f*cked up," he said.
The comedian admitted he wants to tread even further into dramatic territory, but hasn't had the opportunity.
"No one sends me anything dramatic," Rock said. "But it would have to be really dramatic. I would have to be a killer or a transvestite or something where I really get to act."
Next up for Rock is "Madagascar 3" and "What to Expect When You're Expecting." Delpy has two upcoming French films in the works, but admitted -- in the greatest disappointment of the press conference -- that a final installment of the "Before Sunrise"/"Before Sunset" franchise is far from a certainty.
"We might do it, but we would have to have something to say," she said. "With '2 Days in New York,' we had something to say, and with 'Before Sunset' we had something to say. We don't want to just do it."
Another thing the 42-year-old actress touched upon was her hatred of Botox.
"I only want to act if people ask me to be in their film," Delpy said. "I don't want to go through auditions and get Botox in my head and all that shit."
Don't get her wrong -- she loves acting, she's just not a fan of the pressure actresses face to land roles today.
"I love acting, but I don't like the things around it," she said. "All the things about the looks and all the people managing your life. Being a director [means] you are more in control of the story."
Check out photos of celebrities at Sundance below:
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